History

Riversdale Beach Resort was established in 1954 by Basil Bodle, a champion Wairarapa swimmer who frequented the beach often, with friends on swimming training ventures around the Wellington Region.
Besides recognising that this beach had the best all year around surf, he noticed that this part of the coast was more sheltered than the North and South Wairarapa coast.

Some time later the Meteorological Service stated that this is due to natures natural barrier, the Tararua Ranges, with the highest point being nearly in a direct line to the prevailing North-westerly winds.

The farmer who sold the bare sand dune acreage to Basil stated he had found a fool, as the land would only carry a few sheep. There was no phone, no electricity, no water and a gravel winding dusty road most of the way. Basil put his whole family to work in school holidays and weekends, planting trees, planting kikuya grass pieces, constant watering, developing golf links, building a store and camp.
He provided land for churches, a surf club and started a Progressive Association. He met with a lot of opposition from unimaginative people, but was later plagued with credit thieves when he finally proved the resort a roaring success.